This is the day one would expect some joke-announcement like "all further development cancelled" or "it's now about pink ponies". But that'd just be mean, and we best leave that to other people.
Still plodding away at Act 2. It's going slowly, but we're getting there and I have booked some crunch-time off the ol' day-job in April to get it done. Most of the asset creation has been completed and the rest is coming together nicely. The music too is sounding dang smooth. In fact, my greatest worry about Act 2 is that it's all just so much better than Act 1 and people will feel it's out of place. I like how it has evolved though and would love to go back and do a bit of reduxing of Act 1 eventually.
Another day, another alley. Below is a quick work-in-progress shot showing what the artwork looks like vs. what it looks like in-game with the weather added. This particular scene is also camera mapped to geometry so that the perspective is real. In motion the effect is quite subtle so as to not stick out too much from the plain 2d stuff, but it allows for proper reflective surfaces and casting light on surfaces in a semi-realistic manner.
Just a quick update:
The Maker's Eden is going at a 75% discount on Steam for another 22-ish hours at the time of writing this. Good opportunity to grab it on the cheap! You can also get it in the Groupees "Does time really exist?" bundle for another week - some great music included in that one.
Act 2 Music - A teaser
Ben's been busy, and we're happy to share a near-final iteration of the opening theme for Act 2. Give it a listen here: https://soundcloud.com/abstraction/the-makers-eden-act-2-intro-theme
The original plan was to get all 3 acts done before localising. But more and more people have been asking for German, Spanish, Russian etc. We're trying to figure out at the moment how we could get this done at good enough quality with our mighty budget of $0. We stumbled upon a Russian fan-translation and have offered some assistance to them. We'll include that one in the main game, but it'll be clearly marked as a fan-translation. For all the others - working on it!
And now for something completely different! :)
This week, Telltale announced that they'd be doing an officially licensed Minecraft tie-in game titled "Minecraft: Story Mode". Responses were mostly positive, but there were a few that equated to "Huh? How would that even work?".
Good news - this is an easy question to answer, because we've done it before!
Around 2 years ago we made a little gag game in AGS called "Steve Quest". The graphics and world are all lifted from Minecraft, but tells a story in the style of a Sierra adventure game.
The game was kinda rubbish, mostly intentionally so, but it serves as a great case study. The world of Minecraft has no set lore or canonical fiction to draw from, no pantheon of named characters, and every Minecraft world differs from the next. It's a mechanically rich game though, and this is enough to build a story out of. Imagine you are hovering about a multiplayer server, watching players go about whatever they do in-game - gathering, hunting, crafting, building - and then imagine that the avatars are completely unaware of the existence of the real world. At this point the stories write themselves. For a more comprehensive example of how this works in practice, have a look at SamCube's WonderCraft, or heck, watch The LEGO Movie.
Our Steve Quest took a few liberties with the world, but mostly assumes that the world is mechanically the same as it is in actual Minecraft. I believe as long as Telltale's game assumes the same, any story they tell from that will be an authentic Minecraft story.
Steve Quest can still be found at http://screwylightbulb.com/stevequest/ - Windows only for the moment, which reminds me; now that AGS can be compiled so well for Linux, we should really add some binaries! :)
A full playthough can be viewed here:
Also, dear Telltale: Maybe this is a good time to start supporting Linux? (and mayhaps also for Tales from the Borderlands)
Yup, it's that time, reflect on the year and all that fun stuff. So with that, the milestones!
Act 1 Released
Ah yeah, this was the best and craziest thing. There I was, making some last minute changes to the Steam Store settings, two days prior to launch, plenty of time for some more testing, when I accidentally hit the Publish button. Immediately it went into the Steam featured new releases list and I wasn't even sure the Steam repo actually worked on all platforms yet! Eep! It was bumpy, but hey - we learned, and thankfully it was all more or less good, bar a few fixes to the soundtrack DLC.
Being a bit of a niche product, we turned to bundles for additional income and exposure. We've pretty much been in every darned bundle ever, with three more to follow. Generally I would not recommend bundles for most developers. If you can manage without them, it's probably best to wait until your game hits the infamous "long tail".
Act 2 and Vignettes
Two vignettes out thus far, another following soon. Development of Act 2 has gone at the pace of an elderly snail, since I'm still working the ol' day job, but it's progressing. There are a few key differences between Act 1 and Act 2. The most obvious is the structure. There's a bit more freedom of movement in that locations will unlock based on what you know, and you will need to travel to these locations to progress the story. However, this means the checkpoint save system is useless, so a simple autosave is used. I'll rethink Act 1's "chapters" once it's all done. Most of the remaining mysteries are revealed in Act 2, and I am reeeeally looking forward to showing what's in store for you in Act 3!
Say hello to Iain! In order to lift some of the weight of the artwork off Josh, we're splitting art work into background art (Josh) and character art (Iain). This presents a tiny problem though. We're not using a standardised art style like anime, so there's a certain amount of art shift that can be expected. With this in mind, some of the characters in Act 1 will have to be redrawn. Some folks might be opposed to this, but ya know what - it's going to look great and allows us to put more emotional variety in the character art! Will try and show off some hopefully not too spoilerish stuff soon. In the mean time, here are some concepts as a tease.
We have some music to share with you too, but will post that a bit later - stay tuned!